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Hearing Implant Team

The Hearing Implant team consists of a group of professionals working closely together and maintaining close links with centres nationally and internationally.

We are committed to ensuring that patients receive the most appropriate guidance, training, treatment and equipment to optimise their auditory potential.

Surgeons

Mr Philip J Robinson                          
Director of West of England Hearing Implant Programme and consultant adult and paediatric ENT surgeon at Bristol Royal Infirmary, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust and Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.

I work as an adult and paediatric ENT surgeon in Bristol specialising in ear and nose problems with a particular interest in hearing loss. I established the West of England Cochlear Implant Programme with Dawn Webster in 1995 at Southmead Hospital, Bristol.

I have been involved with Cochlear Implants since 1986, when the Royal Ear Hospital was the only cochlear implant centre in the UK. I now lead the West of England Hearing Implant Programme and carry out 40-50 Implant operations per year.

Mr Daniel Hajioff - consultant ENT surgeon
I have been a consultant ENT surgeon since 2006. I trained in London and Toronto and have operate on adults and children.

Mr Stephen Broomfield - consultant ENT surgeon

Programme co-ordinators

Elisa Romeo - clinical scientist (audiology) Adult Hearing Implant Coordinator

I have been working in audiology since 2010 and joined the WEHIP adult team in September 2015.
My role involves the assessment, 'switch-on' and follow up care for patients receiving either bone-anchored, middle ear or cochlear implants.

 

Jenny Maddocks - Paediatric Hearing Implant Coordinator and Service Lead

As the co-ordinator for the Paediatric Cochlear Implant Programme since 1998/9, I strive to ensure the patient's pathway from referral to implantation is as smooth as possible. I will always try to help with any query big or small and am happy to be contacted. My clinical work, as an audiological scientist involved in the cochlear implant initial activation and subsequent tuning sessions allows me the privilege of following children's progress in their hearing from prior to implantation until they are transferred to the adult/adolescent team.

Audiology

Paediatric Team

Elizabeth Midgley - consultant audiological scientist

I work as an audiological scientist within the Paediatric Hearing Implant Team. I am head of the Paediatric Audiology Team based at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and team leader for our newborn hearing screening programme. This ensures close liaison between all the health service teams responsible for diagnosing and treating deaf and hearing impaired children.

Dawn O'Dwyer - principal audiological scientist

I have worked as an audiological scientist since 1994 and most of that time have specialised in paediatric cochlear implants, initially with the Nottingham Hearing Implant team. I've been part of the West of England Hearing Implant Team since 2001.

Janine Matthews - principal audiologist paediatric team
My role entails performing hearing assessments on infants and children prior to having an implant and, following surgery, programming the sound processor to the child's individual needs. I have been working in children's audiology since 2005 and involved in the HI programme since 2008. I thoroughly enjoy working with the families and playing a part in their child's journey.

Adult Team

Thomas DeBlock - Specialist Audiologist

"I have an MSc in Audiology and started working as an audiologist in 2014. I joined the adult WEHIP team in 2019. I assess patients for cochlear implants and bone anchored hearing devices. I am involved in the 'switch on' of the cochlear implants,  fitting of the bone anchored hearing devices and follow-up care." 

Beth Savage  - clinical scientist (audiology)

Following graduation in 2010 I worked as an Audiologist in Bristol giving me a good background knowledge of NHS hearing aids. In 2015 I joined the WEHIP team. Since then I have completed further training to complete my Master's degree and to become a Clinical Scientist. Currently, I am involved with cochlear implants, middle ear implants and bone-anchored hearing devices assessing and assisting patients through their whole implant journey. This means I see patients for initial assessment, multi-disciplinary clinics, device choice 'switch on', follow up (reports) and repairs. I thoroughly enjoy developing a rapport with all our patients and supporting them through the ups and downs of an implant journey.

Natasha Phillips - audiologist

I qualified as an audiologist from the University of Bristol in 2011 and have worked with both adults and children. I joined the West of England Hearing Implant Programme in 2017 and will be working with adults.  I will be involved in assessments, cochlear implant 'switch on', the fitting of bone anchored hearing devices and follow up care.

Speech and Language Therapy

Sheena MacDonald - speech and language therapist

I trained initially, in the early 1980's, as an Audiology Technician and have worked in several Audiology Departments across the country.  I began to re-train in 2001 as a Speech and Language Therapist, working firstly in Gloucestershire with deaf children and their families and have now been in the Paediatric team at WEHIP since May 2012.

Emily Meadows

Emma Parsons

I qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist in 2017 and have worked with children and adults in a range of settings including schools, acute hospitals and inpatient Neurorehabilitation units. I joined the WEHIP team in 2020 and love working with patients of all ages across the Paediatric and Adult teams.

Jane Drummond-Wilson 

I am one of the Speech and Language Therapists on the Team. I joined WEHIP in 2019 and have loved supporting families through the implant journey and especially working with them after switch on. Before working at WEHIP I worked as a community speech and language therapist in Bristol in various settings but always in some capacity with  Deaf children.  I have recently started working with adults who are being assessed for a cochlear implant which has been very different from my paediatric work but just as interesting.   

Teachers of the Deaf

Carol Wells - lead teacher of the Deaf Paediatric Team

I am qualified as a teacher, a teacher of the deaf and as a counsellor. I have worked with deaf children of all ages in the full range of educational settings. Since 1990 I have specialised in working with babies and pre-school deaf children and their families. I have worked for the West of England Hearing Implant Programme since 2002.

Fiona Poolton - teacher of the deaf

Jane Berry - teacher of the deaf

I qualified as a primary teacher before specialising and taking further training as a teacher of the deaf. I also completed a Masters Degree in Deaf Education. I have experience of working with deaf children of all ages in mainstream, hearing impaired resource bases, schools for deaf and as a peripatetic teacher. Recently I have specialised in working with early years children and their families. I have worked for the West of England Hearing Implant Programme since 2007.

Barbara Morgan - teacher of the deaf

I qualified as a Teacher of the Deaf back in 1988 and have had a rewarding career supporting a wide range of deaf children and their families in a variety of settings. Most recently I have specialised in working with families with deaf babies and young children including those with cochlear implants. I joined the Paediatric Team at WEHIP in 2018.

 

Clinical psychologist

Sangeeta Sawlani - specialist clinical psychologist paediatric team

I qualified as a clinical psychologist in 2009 and since then have worked with children, young people with long-term physical health conditions, and their families. I joined the West of England Hearing implant Programme in 2014. My role is to engage with children and families embarking on their Cochlear Implant journey and offer psychological support and advice to families and other professionals at any point in the care pathway.

ATO/Science Support Worker

Summayah Zafar 

Administrators

Debra Blanchard

"I am the lead Administration Coordinator heading up our wonderful Admin support team.  I have been a dedicated member of the Implant Programme since 2004, firstly with the Paediatric team, and since May 2021 with the Adult team.  My role entails equipment ordering for surgeries and ongoing patient support, finance figures, staff support and many other things.  I strive to make a difference to people's lives every day and will do my best to help you with whatever you need."

Tina Williams

I am also based at St Michaels Hospital working alongside Debra Blanchard in the administration of the Paediatric Hearing Implant Programme.

Selina Chapman  - administration assistant

I joined the team in 2017 as an Administration assistant at St Michael's hospital.  I'm mainly based on the adult side supporting all the staff, but I also support the Paediatric Rehabilitation team with administrative tasks.

Annabelle Palmer